“Job gains remained solid and the unemployment rate was little changed in recent months. Household spending has continued to rise moderately while business fixed investment appears to have firmed somewhat,”. “Inflation has increased in recent quarters, moving close to the Committee's 2% longer-run objective; excluding energy and food prices, inflation was little changed and continued to run somewhat below 2%. Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance.”
The FOMC said it expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity will expand at a moderate pace, labor market conditions will strengthen somewhat further, and inflation will stabilize around 2% over the medium term. Near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced, it added.
An analysis have said it found that the 25 basis-point increase will cost U.S. consumers roughly $1.6 billion in extra credit card finance charges during 2017.
The Fed said it will also be maintaining its existing policy of reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities in agency mortgage-backed securities and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction, and it anticipates doing so until normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under way. This policy, by keeping the Committee's holdings of longer-term securities at sizable levels, should help maintain accommodative financial conditions.
Some analysts are projecting the Fed could raise rates as many as four times this year.